Top News from Israel & Palestine: October 3, 2019

What We’re Reading

Israeli Politics & Election

Netanyahu Considers Snap Primary to Dispel 'Rebellion Illusion'; Likud Rival: I'm Ready,

“According to the party’s statement, Netanyahu was considering a snap primary to ‘shatter the illusion of a “Likud rebellion,” which other parties hope for,’ arguing that is what’s ‘holding other party leaders back from joining a national unity government.’ Moments after the statement was released, Likud rival Gideon Sa’ar tweeted: ‘I’m ready’.”

Edelstein: Netanyahu prepared to take leave of absence if indicted,

“Acting speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein said on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be prepared to take a leave of absence if he were indicted in the graft cases against him. Edelstein was asked in an interview with Kan public radio: ‘According to your knowledge, if there is an indictment, it would be appropriate to take a leave of absence?’ ‘That’s the outline that [President Reuven Rivlin] presented and Netanyahu agreed to this outline,’ Edelstein said.”

Netanyahu-Liberman unity talks get nowhere, end after only an hour,

“In their first face-to-face talks in months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman met Thursday to discuss Liberman’s proposal for a unity government. But their talks ended after barely an hour, and did not make any headway.”

First of Four-day Netanyahu Pre-indictment Hearing Ends After 11 Hours,

“As the hearing at the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem concluded, one of Netanyahu’s attorneys said that ‘the attorney general was very attentive to the arguments we presented, which were very detailed, comprehensive, and based on substantial new material that contradicts the allegations against the prime minister. We are not done yet. We are only halfway through, and will resume [presenting our arguments] tomorrow,’ added the attorney, arguing on Netanyahu’s behalf in Case 4000, in which the premier could be charged with bribery and fraud and breach of trust.”

Occupation, Annexation, and Human Rights

‘For those who want peace, replacing Zionism is inevitable’,

“But what about parties like Meretz, that support a Zionist state alongside a Palestinian one, along ’67 borders? ‘It is an illusion,’ he replies. ‘It cannot happen. Zionism will not allow it. The logic behind colonialism, which is deeply rooted in the Israeli establishment, refuses to accept the native population’s control of even a small portion of the land, because recognizing our existence as Palestinians, in the full sense of the word, questions the entire [Zionist] project. If they recognize my right to live in Ramallah, for example, why shall I not also live in Jaffa, Haifa, or Nazareth? It frightens them’.”

Hundreds of Israeli settlers break into Al-Aqsa compound to mark Rosh Hashanah,

“Guarded by Israeli military police, dozens of Israeli settlers broke into the Al-Aqsa compound for the third consecutive day on Tuesday to mark the Jewish New Year, local media reported. More than 400 settlers have entered the compound since Sunday, the start of the Rosh Hashanah celebrations, which ends on Tuesday evening.”

Palestinian Politics

As violence spikes, Israel's Arab community to hold general strike Thursday,

“The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel announced Wednesday that they would be holding a general strike on Thursday to protest violence within the community. The strike will be upheld by local businesses, schools and other public institutions and will coincide with the swearing-in of the new Knesset. Arab MKs will also take part in the strike and will not attend the Knesset ceremony.”

Palestinians protest in support of hospitalized terrorist suspected of Israeli teen murder,

“Palestinians protested in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Tuesday evening after a detainee suspected of killing an Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb in a bomb attack was hospitalized during interrogation by Israeli forces.”